Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Friday, April 26, 2013


The Tall Man (2012) Canada/France

This is one heartbreaker of a movie that I really think you should see. I'll outline the plot but I don't want to give away too much so for just a bit I'd like to talk about movies set in Washington State that are usually filmed in Canada.

The beautiful Columbia River Gorge
I've lived in the Columbia Gorge most of my life. It is the area of the Northern state line of Oregon and the Southern state line of Washington, separated by the Columbia River. It's absolutely beautiful - but I think I can say with no exaggeration that both Washington and Oregon are two of the most beautiful States in the Country. With Oregon you have everything from beaches to lush forests to miles of orchards to desert places to tall mountains. 

Mount Hood overlooking the orchards of Hood River, Oregon
In Washington you have much the same - except maybe more farming. In fact just this morning I was pleased to see on the Bing app a picture of the Gifford Pinchot Forest in Skamania County, Washington where I lived for over a decade. I can see why they like to set movies there, but movie makers go as cheaply as possible, and that usually means Canada. So what movies and TV shows are set in Washington? Way too many to list but here are a few, usually set in a fictional Washington town:

  • Twin Peaks (TV and Film): Filmed mostly in Snoqualmie, Washington.
  • Twilight: Actually believe it or not this was primarily shot in Oregon mostly around Portland, although the sequels were shot in many places including Vancouver in British Columbia, Italy, Louisiana, Brazil, and I guess wherever the filmmakers thought that the place had the right "colors". WTH?
  • The Tall Man: British Columbia
  • Rose Red (TV): Seattle Washington and other Washington State locations.
  • An Officer And A Gentleman: Bremerton, Port Townsend and Fort Worden, Washington.
  • The Ring: While some of it was filmed in Seattle and Bellingham and other Washington towns, film locations included Oregon, California and Massachusetts. 
  • Millenium (TV): Vancouver, British Columbia.

There are tons more, that's just a sample.

Okay now our movie - I'm just going to set it up and let you watch and get your own opinions. My opinion of the whole thing was that at first I thought meh, just another horror movie about a monster who kills kids. This is far, far different from that.

Julia, a widowed nurse, lives in the town of Cold Rock. Cold Rock was a thriving mining town until all mining was shut down - now it's just yet another sad, dying town with dirt poor residents. They have a problem however - their small children keep disappearing, without a trace. Some have come to blame it on The Tall Man, a sort of boogeyman that steals kids at night, taking them to his lair. Since the whole town sits over mining tunnels that reach everywhere (that would be scary to live in a house on) and they go on for miles, searches conducted all over find nothing. And since the place is surrounded by forest, searches are hard and still find no trace of any children, dead or alive.

Julia tries her best to help the residents but they treat her like dirt - after all, she's ONLY a nurse. Her husband was the town's doctor before he died. Besides her son, David, his nanny and an older child named Jenny (Jodelle Ferland who you may remember as Patience Buckner on The Cabin In The Woods), who is mute by choice because of her hard life, she's pretty much alone. Jenny is very talented as an artist, but that will never happen. She lives with her mother and stepfather, the bastard already having had a child with her older sister. She figures the same will happen to her when she's old enough and wishes 'The Tall Man' would take her.

One night Julia hears a loud noise downstairs. She discovers the nanny tied up and sees a dark figure taking off with her son. She gives chase, even jumping onto the truck, breaking in and fighting with the driver until the truck crashes. The dark figure grabs the child and runs away. Julia tries to catch them but she's injured and only makes it a little ways down the road, where the police find her.

And this is where the whole movie changes. Not having a local hospital (Julia is their only source of medical care) the cop takes her to the local diner, filled with people. There she is comforted and asked to tell what happened. But Julia remains silent. She does not tell them her son was kidnapped, or that her nanny is still half bound and bleeding at her house. I thought to myself this isn't right...

And that's all I'm going to say to give you a chance to watch the movie and have your own opinions because this will make you think. What really is right and wrong when it comes to the future of a child? Who is evil and who is good? This movie starts what we feel is the usual way for a horror movie and then twists upon its head, becoming instead a thinker and one way or another you are going to have a strong opinion. I did.